The Constitutional Court says Judgment on Age limit petition is ready.
The court has scheduled July 26, 2018 for the delivery of Judgment at the Mbale High Court, Eastern Uganda at 9:30am.
In the letter dated 13th July addressed to among others Male Mabirizi, Uganda Law Society, Lukwago and Co adocates and Attorney General, the Registar of Court of Appeal wrote: Take notice that Judgment in the Consolidated Petition heard in Mbale is now ready for delivery’’
He adds: If no appearance is made on your behalf by yourself or someone by law authorized to act for you, the judgement will be delivered in your absence.
Seven different parties challenged the legality of the constitutional amendments passed by parliament with the support of the 317 NRM MPs on December 20, 2017. Uganda Law Society, represented by Prof Fredrick Ssempebwa, is one party. Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Winfred Kiiza, opposition chief whip Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda and MPs Gerald Karuhanga, Jonathan Odur, Mubarak Munyagwa and Allan Ssewanyana are another party represented by Erias Lukwago and Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi. There are five other parties represented by different lawyers.
The MPs insist everything in the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2017 is unconstitutional. President Museveni signed the amendments into law, seven days later on December 27. Uganda Law Society also filed a petition against the amendments this week.
Among other things in the amendments, parliament voted to lift the presidential age limits, reinstate and entrench term limits and extend the term of members of parliament and local council leaders from five to seven years effective immediately.
But now, opposition MPs in their petition, take the Constitutional court back to the events of September 26, 2017, when the security forces raided parliament and battered MPs who were opposed to the bill, tabled by Raphael Magyezi the Igara West MP.
They state that the use of violence at the time of tabling the bill, was inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 1, 3, 8A, 20, 24,29,42,44,79, 208(2), 209, 211(3) and 259 of the Constitution.
“That the unlawful invasion and heavy deployment at the parliament by the combined armed forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces [UPDF], the Uganda police force and other militia before and on the day the impugned constitution amendment bill was tabled before the parliament, undermined parliamentary independence and democracy and as such was inconsistent with and in contravention of articles,” they contend.
Through Lukwago and company and advocates plus Rwakafuuzi and company advocates, the petitioners insist that the law is unconstitutional because the UPDF, police, and other militia entered parliament while in plenary and thereby inflicting violence, beating, torture on several members of parliament at the time the law now being contested was tabled as a bill.
“That the arbitrary, unlawful, and violent actions of the armed forces of Uganda People’s Defence Forces, the Uganda police force and other militia in beating, torturing, arresting and subjecting several members of parliament while in their various constituencies to consult the people on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill Number 2 of 2017 was inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 1,3, 8A, 24, 29, 44(C), 79, 208(2), 209, 211(3) and 259 of the Constitution of Uganda ” the petition partly reads.
In the 8-page petition, the MPs go into challenging the specifics of the amendment saying that Sections 2, 3, 6,7,8,9 and 10 of the amendment, are in contravention of Articles 91, 94, 259, and 262 of the Constitution.
Section 2 of the amendment, according to the petitioners, is unconstitutional because it purports to extend the term of parliament from five years to seven years, which according to them is inconsistent with Articles 1, 3, 8A, 79, 90, 94, of the Constitution and rule 93 of the rules of procedure.
They then tackle Section 3 of the amendment, saying its illegal in as far as purporting to lift the minimum and maximum age qualification of a person seeking to be elected as President of Uganda. The MPs say this is inconsistent with Articles 84, 79, 90 and 94 of the Constitution.
“That Sections 6 and 10 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2017 are unconstitutional in as far as it purports to extend the life/term of the local government councils from five years to seven years is inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 1, 3, 8A, 79, 90, 94 and 259 of the Constitution,” they contend.